Until The First World War there was the “big story” of the church and the establishment. Everything was in God’s ordained order and those in power could be trusted. Darwin and the trenches blew a hole in that story. This was then replaced by two other big stories, Communism and Fascism, meeting mankind’s need for a replacement for the God/Establishment story. The Second World War put a dent in these two stories which were largely replaced by Materialism, the “buy stuff ’till you die” story, which is beginning to look a bit frayed at the edges.
Do we need another big story? Is it inevitable that we need single sense making stories? Don’t these invariably put power in the small group who tell the stories? Isn’t this where we are currently with the media and politics? Small groups controlling our sense making stories and having disproportionate impact on how we understand and react to our circumstances.
What if we became less lazy and less willing to accept the stories fed to us? What if we noticed more and thought more? What if we all made sense of the world with our own stories? What if we told these stories online and shared them better and faster than ever before?
Could we become a collective sense making network that removes the ability for small groups to abuse gatekeeping power? Could we work out how to work together to solve the complex problems that we are increasingly aware are inevitably shared? Could we do this with enough tolerance and compassion to avoid falling out with each other?